"Grind The Faces Of The Poor"

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Last Updated on May 24, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 217

Context: Isaiah, prophet of the Lord, proclaims his vision of "Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah." Declaring the Almighty's knowledge of the rebelliousness of the Israelites and the wickedness of the nation, he describes the oppression of the people and the destruction of the country. Heard by Isaiah, the Almighty demands willingness and obedience if the country is to know greatness. Noting the present corruption of Jerusalem, Isaiah says that with obedience the city shall become great, and Zion shall spread the law of God. Under His rule, all nations shall know peace. Guilty of idolatry and of their own pride, which shall be cast down, the Israelites are cautioned that the Lord is ready to destroy Jerusalem and Judah by destroying the leaders of the country. With Isaiah praising the righteous and warning the wicked, the Almighty condemns the rulers, who have oppressed the people, and asks the reasons for their actions:

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The Lord will enter into judgment with the ancients of his people, and the princes thereof: for ye have eaten up the vineyard: the spoil of the poor is in your houses.
What mean ye that ye beat my people to pieces, and grind the faces of the poor? saith the Lord God of hosts.

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